Recently, the British Shorinji Kempo Federation held a national taikai.
What’s a taikai?
It’s a lot of fun, that’s what it is. Literally translating as “big meeting”, a taikai is a competition.
In Shorinji Kempo, our competitions are not just about fighting. As well as sparring, we have embu competitions. An embu is a choreographed fight – you work with your partner (or group) to make it as perfect and realistic looking as possible, and then compete against other pairs to see who has designed and performed the best fight.
This year we had entries for single-form, pair-form, and group embu, which was fun to watch.
Of course, we do also have sparring competitions. This year we threw away the old, gendered categories in favour of a much more sensible Beginner-Intermediate-Advanced grouping.
I for one appreciated having a wider range of opponents to fight – I love to challenge myself.
Overall, it was an excellent day. Fun was had, and prizes were won. And of course afterwards we went to have some food and drink and relax with our friends.